Bahia Princess Hotel Photo by Tony Hisgett via Flickr Creative Commons

US, Australian, Canadian, Japanese, New Zealand and Swiss nationals are not required to apply for a visa if staying for less than 90 days in any Spanish nation. However, those visitors planning on staying for longer are advised to apply for a visa in their home country of residence. Check the EU Immigration website ( or visit a Spanish embassy for further details on Schengen visa requirements, with Spain a party to the Schengen visa system.

Health and Safety

Vaccinations are not necessary before visiting the Canary Islands; however, it’s always useful to check that you’ve got the standard inoculations covered. While EU citizens can use their European Health Insurance Card in the Canary Islands, citizens from other countries, including the US, should apply for health insurance, just in case.

Petty theft is sometimes an issue in the resort towns of Gran Canaria and Tenerife, but as long you make sure doors are locked, windows are closed, and valuables are out of sight, you shouldn’t experience any problems. Make sure to look after your belongings when on the beach so your trip isn’t ruined. While not as popular as they used to be, time-share scams are still common. Don’t feel pressured if you end up in a tight corner with a ‘friendly’ salesman - simply walk away.

Click here to learn about History and Culture in the Canary Islands